Horenso Tamagoyaki (Japanese Spinach & Egg Roulade)

Posted by on September 27, 2010 in Appetizers, Blog, Japanese Cuisine Favorites, Toddler | 15 comments

Horensou Tamagoyaki - 9a

Surprise! I’m alive! OK, I’m just being obnoxious. Two weeks, going on three, is probably the longest I have EVER gone without updating my blog. I’m not sure why, but time has REALLY been flying by the last few weeks and on Friday, I realized that a few weeks had passed without a new post! Horribly shocking, I know!

Perhaps the weeks have been flying by because school and soccer season started. Practice is three times per week and there are two games on the weekend. We also started a new Mommy & Me music class two weeks ago. Between chauffeuring and mommy-baby stuff, time is just flying! However, this isn’t the reason why I haven’t had time to update my blog and I’m still behind on about 20 different food posts!

The truth is, it’s officially Fall (although it was 100 degrees yesterday in So. Cal.) and I love September because of my TV shows. Lately, nothing is better than spending my mommy down time, i.e. after Bebe E goes to bed, on the couch, watching TV. You know, ‘veg-out, and lay like broccoli’. (That’s from Pretty Woman.) Does this make me a couch potato?!? So be it!

September is all about season premiers and pilots. Some of my favorite TV shows include Grey’s Anatomy, Glee, and Private Practice. Other shows I’m evaluating right now are Undercovers (my Mom says she likes this), Nikita (not a fan), Hawaii Five-O (this was surprisingly good), and Desperate Housewives (after missing a full season, I’m wondering if I’ll be interested again). It’s a lot of shows, I know, but thanks to our free DVR service (ask me if you’re interested in finding out how we got this for free!), I can watch my shows leisurely on my own time.

So TV is my latest obsession. Well, that, and ‘Words with Friends’. Shame on my brother’s wife for getting me hooked on this!  I say this lovingly of course. Several family members, all with iPhones play this free game against each other and it is SO addicting. If I’m not watching TV, I’m checking my iPhone to see whether it’s my turn to make a move. If you’re not familiar with Words with Friends, it’s a scrabble game that you can play with other friends that also use the application. I’m so addicted, however, that I’ve resorted to playing randomly selected gamers that the application chooses for me so that I can play even more matches. At any one time I have up to 10 games in play. You play at your own pace, so when you’re ready to make a move, you create a word and the application notifies you when it’s your turn again. Check it out for yourself on iTunes if you’ve got an iPhone. Words with Friends. Interested in a match?!? I’m still a newbie and I lose most games against my word demon family members and even though I have a better win record against my random opponents, this doesn’t make me feel any better.

What about cooking?

Well, I’ve just been making the same ol’ stuff the past several weeks! I’ve been making comfort food. I made my mom’s mabo tofu again a few nights ago because we discovered that Bebe E loves this! I mix little broccoli “trees” with brown rice and the mabo tofu and she devours it! I’ve also been making our usual spaghetti, gyoza and my absolute favorite…

Dishware

Yes, inside this little ‘chawan’ (dish) is my favorite dish of all time – - – my mom’s chawan mushi! My mom found a set of beautiful chawan mushi dishes, each one is different, and I finally got to enjoy it in my new little dishes. Bebe E loves Bachan’s recipe for chawan mushi and I’m discovering that many of my favorite dishes are her favorites too! She also loves, of all things, homemade gyoza! Yet another one of my mom’s recipes. If all I’ve been making is the Japanese comfort food I’ve already posted, what’s new you ask?

Well, one of the things I love about cooking lately is that Bebe E is able to enjoy big people food, and it’s been fun making her modified versions of what we eat. ‘Hourensou no tamagoyaki‘ is one such dish. It’s something I make once a week, just for Bebe E. The first time I made this a few months ago, I did so as a side dish to a light somen dinner on a warm summer evening. Since then, I’ve only been making it for Bebe E, and I add A LOT of hourensou, or spinach. She absolutely loves it!

As children, my parents made tamagoyaki, a classic Japanese omelette for my brother and I. Usually we ate this plain, with no hourenso (spinach). It is ever-s0-slightly sweet and often served at room temperature or cold. This was often a side dish at dinner if my mom was serving temaki sushi, a simple meat dish, or even leftovers.

Horensou Tamagoyaki - 2a

 

At the sushi bar, tamagoyaki (or tamago or dashimaki) is a great alternative to sashimi (raw fish). When I was little, my parents would take me (my brother wasn’t born yet as we have several years between us) to their friend’s sushi bar and I would only order two items – ebi, because it was cooked shrimp, and tamago, because it was cooked egg AND it was sweet! Now, I very much enjoy sashimi and I only order sushi that involves fish that is raw. My favorites are ikura and hotate. I never order tamago and I only order ama ebi, raw. Funny how things change.

I found a recipe for hourenso tamagoyaki in the Japanese cookbook my mom bought for her and I, “Oishii Washoku”. I loved the step-by-step instructions with photographs of each step. I immediately thought this would be a great alternative to plain tamagoyaki and that it would be fun to make using techniques I’d never tried before, rather than my usual, very simple “rolling over” method. My Dad excels at making this beautiful rolled omelette with multiple thin layers. I discovered that patience is the key to making tamagoyaki.

In this post, I provide a version of hourensou tamagoyaki for grown-ups and also for little babies that are ready to eat egg. As babies are more susceptible to egg allergies, please follow your pediatrician’s guidelines for introducing eggs. We were very fortunate because Bebe E is currently allergy-free and currently enjoys a wide range of foods.

Hourensou Tamagoyaki (Japanese Spinach Omelette) For Grown-ups

(This recipe serves two. See below for the baby food version of this.)

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup dashi broth (1/4 cup water + 1/4 teaspoon dried dashi powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon mirin (sweet cooking sake)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup baby hourensou (spinach)

1) Mix luke warm water and 1/4 teaspoon dried dashi powder in a medium bowl. I use either katsuo dashi (bonito extract) or konbu dashi (seaweed extract). Add shoyu, mirin, and sugar. Add 4 eggs and gently mix using chopsticks. Try not to create too many bubbles.

2) In a small bowl, add baby spinach, enough water to cover spinach and microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain and run spinach under cold water until cool. Squeeze excess water from spinach, then chop. Combine spinach and egg mixture.

NOTE: I usually buy organic baby spinach leaves from Trader Joe’s (TJ). It’s super convenient to use this type of spinach for tamagoyaki.

Horensou Tamagoyaki - 3a

3) Heat medium frying pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. I used a rectangular tamagoyaki pan for this, but I recommend using the simple “rolling over” method which is what I use for making Bebe E’s hourensou tamagoyaki (see below). Pour a thin layer of the egg mixture into the pan and lower the heat to medium low. Allow the bottom to cook and become firm enough to fold over, about 3 minutes. If any large bubbles begin to form, use your chopsticks to gently pop the bubble.

Horensou Tamagoyaki - 4a

4) Gently fold over the egg from one end and keep going until you reach the end of the pan. With each fold, allow the egg to cook a little bit before creating the next fold.

Horensou Tamagoyaki - 6a

5) At this point, pour yet another thin layer of the egg mixture into the pan, gently lift your folded over layer to allow the wet mixture to seep under the cooked egg, and allow this to cook and become firm enough to fold over again. Now you’ll fold your omelette back towards the opposite end of the pan from which you came.

6) Repeat step #5. I repeated this step 2 more times before I allowed the omelette to cook just a few more minutes in it’s rolled state. You’ll probably have some egg mixture leftover in order to make a second omelette, but this will depend on the size and type of pan you use.

Horensou Tamagoyaki - 5a

7) Remove tamagoyaki from pan and rest the tamagoyaki on a bamboo sushi rolling mat. You can skip this part, but if you’re looking to impress, I recommend trying this because the sushi mat creates an interesting (and fancy) pattern on your tamagoyaki.

Horensou Tamagoyaki - 7a

While the tamagoyaki is warm (not hot off the stove), gently roll the tamagoyaki in the sushi mat and apply pressure to create a subtle pattern.

Horensou Tamagoyaki - 8a

Once the tamagoyaki is cool, slice to desired thickness and serve. A very subtle pattern of lines can be seen on the outside of the tamagoyaki. I didn’t apply much pressure to this batch but it was noticeable enough at dinner for Bebe Dada to ask how I got the lines on the egg.

Horensou Tamagoyaki - 9a

Hourensou Tamagoyaki for Baby

(12 Months and Older)

  • 1 to 2 eggs (depending on your baby’s appetite)
  • 2 to 4 cups baby spinach leaves (depending on how many eggs you use)
  • Splash of whole milk to help get the eggs fluffy
  • A sprinkle of dried dashi powder/extract (I’ve been using konbu (seaweed) dashi)

1) In a medium bowl, gently beat eggs with chopsticks and add a splash of milk (a few tablespoons). By the time your baby is ready for this recipe, she should also be able to drink whole milk. Sprinkle a very small amount of dried dashi powder. I never measure this. It’s probably about a pinch, just to add a little flavor. At this stage in your baby’s diet, she should be experimenting with more complex flavors.

2) In a separate bowl, combine baby spinach leaves and enough water to cover the spinach leaves. Microwave on high for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes until cooked. Drain, rinse with cold water. Squeeze excess water from the spinach and chop finely. Combine spinach into the egg mixture using chopsticks. I found that using chopsticks is easier than using a whisk because the spinach bits don’t get stuck between the wires and it’s easier to clean.

Horensou Tamagoyaki Bebe - az

3) Heat medium/large pan over medium-low heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour egg mixture into the pan and allow it to cook until the bottom is firm. Gently fold over a small portion of the tamagoyaki and allow this to cook a minute or two. Repeat by continuing to fold over the tamagoyaki until you reach the end of the pan. This is what I call the “rolling over” method. It’s simple, quick and easy.Horensou Tamagoyaki Bebe - 2a

4) Allow the tamagoyaki to cool completely. Then cut into small bite-sized cubes. Bebe E loves to feed herself, and these little hourensou tamagoyaki cubes are the perfect size for her to grab and eat on her own. Below is one of the earlier versions of Bebe E’s hourensou tamagoyaki. See how it still looks like tamagoyaki as you can actually see the egg?

Horensou Tamagoyaki Bebe - 3a

The more I made this for Bebe E, the more spinach I added. She seemed to love it. My mom even commented one time about the amount of spinach I was adding to the tamagoyaki because she said she could barely see the egg! It looked like spinach cubes! I think it’s a great way for my little one to get iron (from the spinach) and protein from the egg. She loves it!

Keeps in the fridge for up to three days. I store them in little Baby Cubes and they’re perfect for taking along in a cooler as part of a lunch on-the-go or afternoon snack.

I hope you’ll enjoy the grown-up version of hourensou tamagoyaki.

Have a great week!

Judy | bebe mama

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Hourenso Tamagoyaki (Japanese Spinach & Egg Roulade)
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup dashi broth (1/4 cup water + ¼ teaspoon dried dashi powder)
  • ½ teaspoon shoyu (soy sauce)
  • 1 teaspoon mirin (sweet cooking sake)
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup baby hourensou (spinach)
Instructions
  1. Mix luke warm water and ¼ teaspoon dried dashi powder in a medium bowl. I use either katsuo dashi (bonito extract) or konbu dashi (seaweed extract). Add shoyu, mirin, and sugar. Add 4 eggs and gently mix using chopsticks. Try not to create too many bubbles.
  2. In a small bowl, add baby spinach, enough water to cover spinach and microwave on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Drain and run spinach under cold water until cool. Squeeze excess water from spinach, then chop. Combine spinach and egg mixture.
  3. Heat medium frying pan over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. I used a rectangular tamagoyaki pan for this, but I recommend using the simple "rolling over" method which is what I use for making Bebe E's hourensou tamagoyaki (see below).
  4. Pour a thin layer of the egg mixture into the pan and lower the heat to medium low. Allow the bottom to cook and become firm enough to fold over, about 3 minutes. If any large bubbles begin to form, use your chopsticks to gently pop the bubble.
  5. Gently fold over the egg from one end and keep going until you reach the end of the pan. With each fold, allow the egg to cook a little bit before creating the next fold.
  6. At this point, pour yet another thin layer of the egg mixture into the pan, gently lift your folded over layer to allow the wet mixture to seep under the cooked egg, and allow this to cook and become firm enough to fold over again. Now you'll fold your omelette back towards the opposite end of the pan from which you came.
  7. Repeat the previous step. I repeated this step twice more before I allowed the omelette to cook just a few more minutes in it's rolled state. You'll probably have some egg mixture leftover in order to make a second omelette, but this will depend on the size and type of pan you use.
  8. Remove tamagoyaki from pan and rest the tamagoyaki on a bamboo sushi rolling mat. You can skip this part, but if you're looking to impress, I recommend trying this because the sushi mat creates an interesting (and fancy) pattern on your tamagoyaki.
  9. While the tamagoyaki is warm (not hot off the stove), gently roll the tamagoyaki in the sushi mat and apply pressure to create a subtle pattern.
  10. Once the tamagoyaki is cool, slice to desired thickness and serve.

15 Comments

  1. avatar

    Judy, I miss you! I like to multitask, and blog while watching tv :) do you like sitcoms at all? watch The Modern Family! I just recently started watching it and it’s hilarious. I also like true blood, mad men, and dexter but those shows aren’t as light hearted.

    I love tamagoyaki! it looks so hard to make though… But I think i’ll try it. I need to learn more patience in the kitchen and I think you definitely need some of that to make this.

    • avatar

      Hey there, I just recorded an episode of TML and I really enjoyed it! It was funny. ;) I too like True and my husband and I also watch Mad and Entourage. He just asked me how many shows I’m watching now and I hate to say this but it’s almost a dozen. Seriously… when do I find the time?!?

  2. avatar

    Your tamagoyaki is so beautifully rolled and delicate looking. I’ve never had it with spinach – I love spinach and it adds beautiful color and contrast. It would be perfect on this HOT day with a cold Sapporo!

  3. avatar

    I love (American-style) omelettes with spinach so I’m sure I’d like this. You know, a college friend introduced me to furikake (a long time ago!) and now I can’t have scrambled eggs or omelletes without it. I always keep at least two jars in my pantry. This post just reminded me of that.

    No worries about not posting. Sounds like you’re spending quality time with family and much needed “me” breaks. More power to you! :-)

    • avatar

      That’s funny about the furikake. Big Onechan likes it on practically everything – from broccoli to cold tofu, and of course rice. I’ll have to suggest eggs next time. ;) Thanks… if only I had more me time! ;)

  4. avatar

    hey j
    for some reason, I didn’t get this post…I just saw on fb…anyway, I’m pretty impressed because this is not easy to make it look so pretty! of course my mom makes it no problem but when I try, it looks like a mess. I will have to try it with the spinach…baby actually eats it?

    • avatar

      hey kyuri. that’s funny. someone else emailed me to let me know they weren’t able to leave a comment. there must be something funny with my blog program. definitely try it with chopped spinach. bebe loves, loves, loves it! it’s one of her favorite regular meals. :)

  5. avatar

    What a great idea to feed a baby! I wish I had thought of it. I have a hard time getting my son to eat spinach.
    Your egg is SO pretty! I don’t have a pan like that. do you think it would be possible to make it in a square baking dish on the stove???? I love the little squares that you made for your daughter, but the sushi styles ones are awesome! So professional looking. :)

    • avatar

      Hmm, I’ve never cooked on the stove with a baking dish. :) How about using a round frying pan, instead? That’s what I use when I make Bebe her tamagoyaki. I think it comes out just as pretty when you simply roll it in one direction, without going back and forth. :)

  6. avatar

    Judy – I can certainly relate to your lack of time for blogging. It’s really hard to find time for this fun stuff we do, unfortunately. I make a similar dish sometimes but have never used spinach. Mostly chopped scallions. I should definitely try with spinach next time.

    • avatar

      Oh wow, I love the idea of chopped scallions since green onions are a favorite garnish of mine! I will have to try that, thanks! :)

  7. avatar

    Hi Judy, lovely post and lovely dish. It’s simple and yet looks really delicious. I can have this anytime, I love eggs and with spinach awesome. I actually just bought some dashi powder to make some sauce for fried tofu, well here’s another dish I can use them. Great idea about the baby food version, I hope you don’t mind me sharing your recipe to my sister-in-law in Dallas who has 2 toddlers.
    I myself have not updated my blog in over a month. I have been very busy. I started visiting sites and reading food blogs, only a day ago. I hope that I can be back on my regular reading and posting blog routine.
    Have a great weekend.

    • avatar

      Hi Madin! I just visited your blog the other day for the first time in a few weeks and I noticed you were busy too. ;) As much as we all enjoy food and our blogs it’s difficult to find time for everything that we love! I’m flattered that you want to share my baby tamagoyaki with SIL! I hope her toddlers will enjoy it as much as my little one. Hope you have a fabulous weekend as well! Cheers!

  8. avatar

    This is my go to recipe for easy bento lunches! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • avatar

      You are so welcome! I’m glad you enjoy the tamagoyaki. It’s still one of my (and Bebe’s) favorite bento items as well. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment for me.

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